Basketball rookie continues rapid rise with Country selection
TALLER than 1.8metres (six feet) at just 13 years of age, it is hard to dispute that Henry Mayer is made for basketball.
Despite his obvious suitability, Mayer only took up the sport four months ago and while his height has aided his rapid rise through the ranks, he is no one-trick pony.
Raymond Laurie Sports Centre spokesman Matt Headon said Mayer is incredibly versatile for a big man, shoots well and is good on his feet.
Mayer's talent has now earned him representative honours.
Having demonstrated his skill at the Yamba courts and trained regularly with Yamba Trawlers coach Steve Smith, Mayer attended the recent New South Wales Country selection trials in Gosford.
The decision paid dividends for the junior giant who has been named in the under-15 development team to contest the Pacific Coast Slam at Port Macquarie in January.
"This is a huge effort," said Headon, who indicated Mayer still had plenty of room for improvement.
"Henry is still inexperienced with game time and needs to learn how to move off the ball.
"As well as that, he needs to know how to get himself or a teammate open off the ball and get quicker with his options; shooting, dribbling and passing."
With only two months to go until the Slam, Mayer will continue to sharpen his burgeoning skills in the Big River Basketball competition, playing alongside and against the likes of former Newcastle NBL player Luke Harradine and Tasmanian state representative Russel Leary.
Two other Yamba Trawlers representatives attended the selection trials in Gosford but neither made the cut.
Christian Whittaker fell just short in his bid for a place in the under-16 team while under-13 player Will Muir also missed out but Headon said they had impressed.
"The Trawlers seem to possess the heart needed to go on to bigger things," he said.
"It's a big effort for the large, established associations to have kids attending these tryouts."